Bhavnani awarded NASA grant for phase-change research

Published: Mar 5, 2013 10:00:00 AM
Media Contact: Morgan Stashick, , 334-844-3591


Sushil Bhavnani, Henry M. Burt Jr. professor in Auburn University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded a NASA Space Technology Research Opportunities—Early Stage Innovations grant to construct condenser surfaces for use in spacecraft thermal control systems. His project, “Enabling self-propelled condensate flow during phase-change heat rejection using surface texturing,” is in collaboration with Oregon State University.

Condenser surfaces turn vapor into liquid. Bhavnani’s microtextured condenser surfaces, which are designed with drainage channels, create a closed loop thermal management system for heat transfer and condensate flow. The system could result in a self-regulating, lightweight cooling system for spacecraft electronics that does not use additional power while pumping fluid through the system.